Stories I Finish: An Epiphany (Essay 19 of 52)

I had an epiphany the other day about the way I tell stories and about the stories I like to…

Something I Neither Expected nor Sought (Essay 18 of 52)

Author’s Note: If you’re a steady reader of this blog, you know I worry about writing in obscurity forever. It’s…

Why my students need love as much as they do poetry (Essay 17 of 52)

Notes: My most recent column for National Catholic Reporter references the freshmen class I teach in Philadelphia, not to be…

A Letter to My Students on the Eve of their AP Exams (Essay 16 of 52)

I sent this letter via email to senior high school students I teach in Camden, NJ, earlier this month. If…

Storytelling is God’s Work (essay 15 of 52)

I’m a storyteller. By the time my next NCR column is published, I will have successfully completed my thesis and…

When the Pen Tips the Scales (Essay 14 of 52)

My thesis is submitted(!) and now … there’s summer clothing I can’t fit into. Most weeks, I spend more hours…

An Intangible Finish (Essay 13 of 52)

This was first posted to Instagram on April 27, 2017. Submitted my thesis today. Digitally. It felt incredibly anticlimactic. I…

Holy Week Worries (Essay 12 of 52)

It’s Holy Week, and I’ve been spending it the way I normally do: working, grocery shopping, exercising, traveling among all…

Room to Imagine Freedom (Essay 11 of 52)

The sentence is inflicted by white supremacy and its brother patriarchy, the same forces trapping so many people in prisons…

How do you write like you’re running out of time? (Essay 10 of 52)

The original Broadway cast recording of Hamilton has been in rotation on my Tidal playlist since early January. That’s when…

The Never-Ending Work of Creative Labor (Essay 9 of 52)

I feel like I should write this in a whisper lest some enemy of joy hear my fingers pressing the…

We are Writing History (Essay 8 of 52)
dark brown library card catalog

I want everyone to care about stories that aren’t their own, that aren’t necessarily what they think they could relate…

Random Things I Would Ask and Tell Beyoncé If I Knew Her Like That But That I’m Telling You Because (Essay 7 of 52), It Was 70 Degrees Today, I Rode My Bicycle, and That Makes Me Feel Like I Can Write Something That’s Not So Serious

Do you wear a wig around the house, even when you’re by yourself? I do, and I feel conflicted about…

Peace in the Abundance of Choices (Essay 6 of 52)

I spent this past Thursday through Saturday at AWP17, the 50th annual conference of the Association of Writers and Writing…

Writing memoir, rewriting memory (Essay 5 of 52)

Thursday and Friday allegedly are my writing days, and finishing my thesis is taking priority. But these essays are to…

Next stop: friendship? (Essay 4 of 52)

I know that the Zumba instructor at the main YMCA I go to is studying to be a physical therapist,…

Radical Self Love: Writing Intimate Spaces in the Era of Tyranny (Essay 3 of 52)
Grayscale image. 2 fists raised in the air, against the clouds. Hashtags resist, radical, selflove, and subversive. quote by Mariam Williams

    This week’s essay is posted on The Thought Erotic for its inauguration issue, “We the People Won’t Be…

Stagnation or Spinning Out of Control? (Essay 2 out of 52)

I started unpacking at 11:00 pm, almost as soon as I walked through the door. And as the contents of…

Yes, I’m Still Writing (1 out of 52)

Since I’ve been staying in my home town with my mom for the holidays, I’ve had exchanged pleasantries and had…

To 2016: An Open Letter and Elegy

Read the whole letter here. Also note: Carrie Fisher, her mother Debbie Reynolds, and Carolyn Miller-Cooper passed before my editor’s filing…

My Unpopular Opinion on ‘Birth of a Nation,’ the movie I made an unpopular decision to see
movie poster Birth of a Nation 2016

I took myself to see Birth of a Nation earlier this week. (I told you I would.) Short review: well-acted…

The Decade Before Consent

*Trigger warning* The week of August of 15, my news feed was filled with damning articles and opinions about Nate…

Being single shouldn’t feel like punishment, but for black church girls, it often does

How is a church like prison and being incarcerated like belonging to a church? Both have a way of asking,…

On my bicycle, at the intersection of blackness and womanhood, with feminism crossing diagonally

“If a woman says she was raped, I believe her, because for all she has to go through, why would…

The Summer Part is Over, but Writing for Freedom Continues
The color of freedom

  My Writing-For-Freedom Summer has come to an end. I learned under instructors I would like to take back to…

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